Saturday, January 31, 2009

UFC 94 Live Results


(If you like RearNakedNews.com, please support our sponsors. A click here and there when you visit goes a long way.)

-For anyone who doesn't know the drill. I'll post quick results for all the preliminary fights other than Fitch/Gono and Tavares/Gamburyan. Those two bouts will get Full Play-by-Play treatment like the PPV Card, which kicks off at 10pm ET.

Preliminary Card
Dan Cramer vs Matt Arroyo
-Cramer Wins by Split Decision
Jake O'Brien vs Christian Wellisch
-O'Brien Wins by Split Decision
John Howard vs Chris Wilson
-Howard Wins by Split Decision

-These first three preliminary fights are taking forever. PPVs are weird in that patterns develop in regards to finishes. This seems to be the "Decision PPV".

Thiago Tavares vs Manny Gamburyan

Round 1
Tavares gets a takedown. He's going nuts on top with punches and hammerfists. Gamburyan doing a decent job of avoiding direct hits. He moves to his side and goes for a kimura. Tavares almost got caught. He counters the kimura with a nice move and is back in Gamburyan's guard. Gamburyan manages to escape with a cool judo throw, although Tavares is still on him as they're pressed against the fence. A nice left hand connects for Tavares and he slams Gamburyan down. On top he's landing punches and elbows. Gamburyan doing his best to stay active from the bottom with strikes. RNN Scores it 10-9 Tavares.

Round 2
Gamburyan comes forward and lands a punch and a leg kick. Gamburyan is very wild with big rights that aren't landing. Tavares goes for a takedown and presses Gamburyan into the cage. A nice reverse lands Gamburyan on top. Tavares is holding him tight, not letting him do much. He lands a couple elbows before the referee stands them up. Leg kick lands for Gamburyan after the restart. Tavares throwing, but mostly missing. Tavares shoots and round ends with Gamburyan pressed against the cage. RNN Scores it 10-9 Gamburyan.

-This fight will be a nightmare to score, if it goes the distance. I'm kinda hoping it does, so we can see how the judges screw it up.

Round 3
Both fighters miss on takedown attempts. Tavares lands some rights. He's controlling things early on. Gamburyan might be tiring out. Okay, maybe not. Manny comes back with leg kicks and a right hand that finds its mark. Tavares regains control, though. Gamburyan eats a right hand and a knee while going for a takedown. Gamburyan wrestles Tavares into the cage, but can't take him down. Round ends without much more happening. RNN Scores it 10-9 Tavares

Tavares Wins by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

-This event will forever be known as UFC 94 "Ultimate Decision". With Guida, Karo, and Machida all still to come, it's not out of the question to say this PPV might not end until Tuesday afternoon.

Jon Fitch vs Akihiro Gono
-Gono's entrance was classic. It might have trumped Sakuraba's. He was dressed like a chick, had dancers (in drag) with him, and so far this has been the highlight of a slow event.

Round 1
Fitch goes for an early takedown, but can't finish it. They're wrestling against the fence for position. Fitch lands a knee. Gono lands a couple leg kicks. Fitch doing a little clinch work. Gono lands a right. Fitch scores a takedown. He moves to Gono's back. Rear naked choke doesn't really go anywhere. Fitch lands punches from the back. Gono lifts himself back up with Fitch still on his back. RNN Scores it 10-9 Fitch

Round 2
Gono eats some leg kicks on his way to pushing Fitch into the cage. Gono doing a little inside work with shots to the body. Fitch gets a takedown with a trip. He's inside Gono's guard. Not much from the top of note. He's throwing light stuff. A warning from the referee gets Fitch to throw more. Fitch transitions to Gono's back and has a body triangle. He's landing punches from behind. Fitch goes for a rear naked choke that is defended by Gono. He moves to an arm bar that could have ended it, but the round ended. RNN scores it 10-9 Fitch

Round 3
Gono looks like he's about ready to die. He's breathing heavy. Fitch comes out with purpose with some kicks and clinch work. He gets Gono down and is in side control. He's pounding him with strikes. This thing might be over. Fitch stands up and Gono gets back up. A clinch and back to ground. Fitch has his back. Gono breaks out and now has top position. I don't think he has the gas to do much from here. Fitch gets back up. Gono misses with a Superman punch. Kicks also not finding their mark. Fitch takes him down. RNN Scores it 10-9 Fitch

Jon Fitch Wins by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

-PPV begins with a black screen and "In Memory of Helio Gracie 1913-2009".

-Mike Goldberg looks like he's 30 years old. I just looked it up and he's 44. I bet he does pilates or something to stay so young.

Clay Guida vs Nate Diaz
-"I know he was a carpenter, but he should really be Clay "The Energizer" Guida." - Goldberg doing his best Tito Ortiz impression.
-Guida comes out to "My Hero".
-Cool moment prior with Jason Guida slapping Clay in the face to get him psyched. Fans are loving this.
-Everytime I see a Diaz brother fight, I wonder the same thing, "Is Stockton, California really as bad as the announcers always say?" It can't be. I'm gonna go undercover and crack this case.

Round 1
No touch of the gloves. Diaz pawing him with slow punches in classic Diaz fashion. Leg kick for Guida. Diaz is very active. Throwing punches from all angles. A right lands for Diaz. Guida grabs a leg and uncorns a short right hook that lands. Leg kick by Guida. Diaz shoots and pulls guard. Guida in half-guard. Fans chanting "GUIDA!". Guida climbs onto Diaz's back. Guida pushes him down into the mat and has a full nelson. Diaz scrambles and eats a couple elbows to the side of the head. Guida picks him up and throws Diaz down hard. Guida keeps moving and getting his back. He's mostly holding on, but he's winning so far. Diaz breaks free at the end and lands some punches and kicks. RNN Scores it 10-9 Guida

Round 2
Diaz hip throws Guida down, but he gets up quickly. Diaz presses Guida into the cage. He's throwing light knees to the body. Both fighters looking for trips. Guida is relentless. He keeps grabbing Diaz and refuses to let go. Diaz has an arm and is looking for a kimura. Guida defends it well. Guida still holding him from the side and behind. He's throwing knees every now and again. It's mostly a wrestling match. Diaz executes a perfect trip and throw. Guida still manages to hold onto him as they both fall. They're back up and Guida still is holding his back. Another throw by Diaz, but Guida again keeps hold of him as they fall. Guida now in his full guard. Diaz goes for a triangle, but with only ten seconds left he never gets it fully hooked. RNN Scores it 10-9 Guida, but really it could have gone either way.

Round 3
Leg kick by Guida. Another lands. Diaz still throwing light probing punches. Diaz lands two solid punches. I don't think they hurt Guida at all, but they looked nice. Diaz is picking him apart. Still light punches mostly, but he also threw in a couple body shots that made some noise. Guida grabs a hold of him and is looking for a takedown. Guida is gasping for air. Guida transitions to his back and briefly has hooks in. Fans chanting "GUIDA!" again. Guida gets him down and is in top position. He shifts to the back again. A scramble ends the fight after Guida jumps over his back and the referee breaks it up before Diaz could throw any punches from the top. RNN Scores it 10-9 Diaz

Clay Guida Wins by Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

-Guida didn't look great. The 1st rd was mostly his. The 2nd was a toss-up. The 3rd was definitely in Diaz's column. The problem for Diaz was he didn't open up and throw until the last round. He needed something to offset Guida's wrestling control. I think early on he thought he'd eventually get a submission, so he wasn't worried about scoring points. That's a tough way to fight against someone like Guida.

Karo Parisyan vs Dong Hyun Kim
-"At the end of the fight, I want his face to look like a beaten up meat." - Karo
-Karo comes to the cage wearing red Adidas pants like Ben Stiller in Royal Tenenbaums.
-He looks calm and isn't shaking like Michael J. Fox...yet.

Round 1
An overhand right backs Kim into the cage. Kim fights back and takes Karo down. Kim quickly moves to his back. Karo is standing now with Kim still on his back. He tries to roll onto the mat, but Kim won't let go. Kim throwing punches to side of the head. Karo standing again. He falls down and scrambles to top position. Kim lands a very nice triangle for a couple seconds. Karo pulls his head out. Back to their feet. Kim reverses a takedown attempt by Karo and has his back again. They're facing each other and wrestling near the cage. Kim landing knees to the body. RNN Scores it 10-9 Kim

Round 2
Karo comes forward with a right-left combo. Fight goes to the mat after a half-throw by Karo that was mostly defended by Kim. Karo working for a kimura. Some excellent back and forth technique on the ground. Back to their feet and Kim lands a forearm to the head. Karo ties him up and connects on a perfect judo throw. He's into side control with Kim pressed against the cage. Karo has double underhooks sorta from the side of Kim. Hard to explain. Kim breaks free and presses Karo into the cage. Referee stops things for a second to let Karo get his mouthpiece back in. This is the second time it felt out. Next time will cost him a point. Fight resumes with some punches lightly landing for both. Karo pushes forward in a southpaw stance and connects with a good right. RNN Scores it 10-9 Karo

Round 3
Tie-up and Karo pushes him into the cage. Kim locks his arms around Karo and forces him down. Karo goes for a triangle and once it broke he pushed up with his foot and hit Kim in the face. Referee stopped things for ten seconds to warn Karo about kicking at a downed opponent (Kim was kneeling). Back to fighting and more wrestling near the cage. Kim lands a short left. Kim lands a knee to the body. Karo takes Kim down for a second. It wasn't a true takedown. Kim got right back up. Both fighters land punches as the round ends. RNN Scores it 10-9 Kim

Karo Parisyan Wins by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

-Wow! What a gift Karo got. Kim got screwed. I'm not gonna complain too much because this makes me 4-0. I picked a fighter with panic attacks and won. That feels good.

-Chuck Liddell had a really awkward minute long stay on camera. He kept holding his fist up, but then it went on entirely too long and you could see from the expression on his face he was thinking, "Man, I've had my fist up for like a minute straight."

Stephan Bonnar vs Jon Jones
-Bonnar enters to his usual "Eminence Front" by The Who.
-This one has to break the 7 fight decision streak. It's gotta. One of these guys is getting knocked out.

Round 1
Jones landing some interesting kicks to the body. He presses Bonnar into the cage and lands two solid knees. An excellent takedown/throw by Jones. Bonnar gets up quickly. Another big throw from Jones. Bonnar up again. Bonnar now pushing Jones into the cage and throwing some light knees. Jones shifts and grabs Bonnar's back. An awesome belly to back suplex throws Bonnar to the ground. Jones lands a wicked spinning back elbow that connects with the side and back of Bonnar's head. Bonnar drops immediately. Joe Silva was seen in the shot making a "Holy Crap!" face. Jones on top, but can't finish him. Back to their feet. Jones lands a knee to the head from a tie-up. Round ends with a takedown by Jones. RNN Scores it 10-8 Jones

Round 2
Bonnar lands a body kick. Jones responds with a side kick to the body. A leg trip by Jones and he grabs Bonnar's back. A scramble breaks the tie-up. Jones takes him down after eating a body kick. Jones working from the side, still in half-guard. Bonnar elevates his hips and gets back to his feet. Nifty little move. A body kick lands for Jones as an overhand right lands for Bonnar. Bonnar connects with a couple uppercuts. Bonnar working in close with elbows and forearms. Bonnar comes forward into a tie-up and Jones collapses his back and takes Bonnar down...somehow. I don't even know how to describe it. It was cool, though. RNN Scores it 10-9 Jones

Round 3
Bonnar ties him up briefly. Bonnar lands some nice inside shots, including an uppercut that popped Jones pretty good. A right hand lands for Bonnar. Jones responds with a knee to the head. Every time Bonnar goes inside he's landing uppercuts. The problem is he keeps getting tied up and taken down. And they tie up and Jones takes him down. Bonnar throwing elbows and punches from the bottom. Bonnar gets a triangle briefly until Jones pops his head out. Bonnar back to his feet. Bonnar lands a left. Jones is basically running away. That might hurt him. Judges do not like that sort of thing. Round ends with not much happening because Jones kept moving away. Another decision!!! RNN Scores it 10-9 Bonnar

Jon Jones Wins by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

-That was impressive. Jones must have taken him down about a dozen times and each one was cool to see. The 2nd round "back collapse" takedown was a thing of beauty. Bonnar actually rebounded well in the final two rounds. For some reason, he kept going in for tie-ups, though. He literally initiated most of them and 50% of the time it ended with a takedown by Jones. He probably would have won, if he kept his distance. Oh, well, I guess I can't hit every fight I pick. I'll use this as a lesson...never pick a fighter over 30 who is coming off knee surgery.

Thiago Silva vs Lyoto Machida
-Silva hopping to the cage. He looks intense.
-"I don't know what this song is, but it's cool." - Rogan in reference to Silva's Brazilian rap entrance music (I agree)
-Machida looks like he just stepped out of a refrigerator. I'm not sure why he was wearing his karate gi in there, but he was. Strange guy.

Round 1
Silva moving forward. Machida comes in first and partially connects with a punch. Machida lands a nice leg kick. A quick tie-up ends after Silva takes a knee to the balls. Referee stops things for a minute. Silva comes out with a body kick. Machida takes him down with a sweep. Back up. Machida lands a knee to the body and strike to the head that drops Silva. Machida on top in Silva's guard. Machida stands and kicks at Silva's leg. He falls back on top into Silva's guard. Machida lets him up. A right drops Silva. Machida into side control. He moves to mount for a second before working towards Silva's back. Silva up and now wrestles Machida into the cage. Machida trips Silva to the ground, dives into his guard, and connects with a right then a quick left that knocks Silva out. 1 second left in the round...Fight over. The referee didn't even realize it happened. It took him a few seconds to realize Silva had been hit twice and was out cold. Great finish.

Lyoto Machida Wins by 1st Round KO

-"People do I deserve the title shot? (YEAHHHH!)" - Machida

-Okay, Machida is no longer overrated in my mind. He took Silva apart and that finish was awesome. To be able to connect on a series of moves like that (trip-right-left) amazes the hell out of me.

BJ Penn vs Georges St-Pierre (Welterweight Title)
-Penn coming out to come Hawaiian dude moaning something I can't understand. Fans are going crazy. It's like a Bon Jovi concert in the 80s. I swear.
-Huge ovation when the lights go out prior to St-Pierre's entrance.
-Rogan and Goldberg are giddy.
-Penn looks calm. GSP looks pissed.
-Very interesting listening to the fans because neither side can get an advantage. For both you hear mostly cheers, but also some boos.
-Awesome staredown. They both looked like they were gonna kill each other.

Round 1
Tie-up, both throwing knees. Neither getting a clear advantage yet. GSP grabs a leg. Penn hops around and won't go down. Penn throwing some inside punches without much behind them. More hopping. He won't let go of the leg, but he can't get him down. He gives up and we're back to striking. GSP almost tags him with a right. That was close. It partially connected. Another tie-up and GSP presses him into the cage. Another single-leg attempt and more unreal hopping and balance by Penn. GSP gives up on it again. Penn lands a couple light jabs. A right lands for GSP and a jab. Penn having trouble landing strikes so far. Leg kick by GSP. RNN Scores it 10-10.

-I scored it even because GSP couldn't take him down. I'm shocked to be honest. Neither did much striking.

Round 2
A diving jab lands for Penn. Another jab. A nice left lands for Penn. GSP wrestles him into the cage. GSP whips him down and is on top. Not a big takedown, but he did get him down. Penn moving his legs way up high. GSP connects with some strikes and passes into side control. He's landing right hands from in close. A knee to the body by GSP. A huge right hand by GSP, but Penn managed to get back into full guard. Nice movement on the ground by Penn. He's blocking a lot of the shots. GSP passes into side control. Penn gets right back into guard. Elbows from the top partially landing for GSP. RNN Scores it 10-9 St-Pierre

-Penn looking tired in the corner.

Round 3
A nice short Superman punch by GSP. A jab lands for GSP. GSP works for a takedown and after a stall gets it. He's in half-guard. Penn gets back to full-guard. Moving his legs up high again while still connected. GSP landing hammerfists, but it gives Penn an opening to get back to his feet. GSP pushes him into the cage and takes him down. They're in very close to the cage. An elbow lands for GSP. He's working the body a little. RNN Scores it 10-9 St-Pierre

-Doctor looking at Penn in the corner. He's fine, I think.

Round 4
A jab by GSP. Penn misses a lazy jab and GSP takes him down. Passes to side control. Elbows to the side of the head. Referee warns GSP about strikes to the back of the head, twice. A third warning about strikes to the back of the head. Knee to the body by GSP. Hammerfists by GSP and right hands. This one is getting close to being stopped. I don't think Penn is in trouble, but he can't get out from under GSP. A nice short elbow by GSP. He's turning it up and trying to get a stoppage. RNN Scores it 10-9 GSP

Georges St-Pierre Wins by 4th Round TKO (Doctor Stoppage)

-I have no idea how Penn is still going. Doctor looking at him again.

-Fight is over. It's been stopped. Penn's corner told the doctor to stop it. He was walking away and Penn's brother got his attention and motioned to the doctor to stop it.

-Thiago Alves in the cage. Looks like he has the next shot at GSP. Not a cool staredown or anything. Alves basically said, "You're great. I wanna fight you."

UFC 94 Preview

(RearNakedNews.com would like to remind you that if you're planning on wagering on any of the UFC 94 fights, check out BetUS.com. Their UFC Odds currently have some nice possible plays (Gono, if you want a big underdog). The non-MMA portions of the site also have some cool stuff. Online Betting doesn't get any better than wagering on what song Bruce Springsteen will open the Super Bowl halftime show with.)

CLICK HERE FOR UFC 94 LIVE RESULTS

Manny Gamburyan vs Thiago Tavares
It seems like Thiago Tavares has been around forever when in reality he's only been in the UFC for less than two years. He also will not be 25 until November. Six UFC fights and he's that young. That amazes me for some reason. His two straight losses worry me, but it's way too early to close the book on this guy. My biggest worry with him is whether he has developed a viable finishing method. Prior to entering the UFC, he ripped through his opponents with submissions. Since then all he has to show for it is a triangle choke victory over Jason Black. When fighters have trouble finishing, it's a giant red flag.

If Gamburyan didn't get knocked out by Rob Emerson, I'd be a lot more enthused with his chances against Tavares. I think it's going to be difficult for him to close the distance. I favor the striking of Tavares and his submission skills (if they ever show up in the UFC) over Gamburyan's power game. Tavares Wins by Decision.

Jon Fitch vs Akihiro Gono
It sucks this fight will not be shown live on the PPV. Fitch is without a doubt one of the top five Welterweights in the world and Gono isn't some bum. To be honest, I think Gono could surprise a lot of people in this fight (He's also at +375 right now, which makes him a prime target for a small underdog play, ya know, if you're the type who gambles. Fitch is -650. That's insanely high.). He's beaten top talent before and sports some very slick submissions. Fitch'e wrestling ability (specifically his positioning) should be able to control the fight, but if he leaves an arm dangling for a second too long, Gono will capitalize. We'll also get a good look at how far Fitch's stand-up has progressed since Georges St-Pierre made him look like an amatuer. I'm going with Fitch by 2nd Round TKO. He should be able to win the striking battle, which will make it easier to take him down, and finish from the top. If I was Fitch, though, I'd be very careful about going to the ground before Gono is hurt. That's a recipe for disaster.

Karo Parisyan vs Dong Hyun Kim
Does anyone really feel comfortable backing Karo? Panic attacks are the last thing I look for in a fighter because I don't think the treatment works with the career. It's already extremely difficult for fighters to get up everyday and train. We see fighters miss weight or come in out of shape all the time. Imagine how much tougher it would be to train if you're downing Xanax. Wouldn't you think that would lead to less overall energy and an inclination to maybe take a day off here and there? The other side of it is the fighter doesn't take any medicine and deals with the possibility of walking into the cage and having a panic attack. If the bell rings and Karo starts shaking like Michael J. Fox, you know he's in trouble.

My issue with Kim is all about his size. I just don't know if he has the strength to get in close with Karo. If you took away all the panic attack stuff, I'd say Karo wins this fight 98% of the time. With it, I'm placing it near 60%. I'm going to go with history on this one and take Karo by decision. He's fought twelve times in the UFC and only lost to Thiago Alves, Diego Sanchez, and Georges St-Pierre. That's a pretty good run for a guy who admittedly has never taken training all that serious. I think with the extra motivation to prove the doubters wrong, he'll be mostly dominant against Kim.

Stephan Bonnar vs Jon Jones
Where has all this Bonnar title contender talk come from? You'd think the guy spent last year lighting up 205 pounders instead of recuperating from a knee injury. I realize he's a fan favorite, but lets get real. He's a good fighter who will always be a notch below title contention in the UFC's stacked Light Heavyweight Division. Luckily he isn't facing any of the top tier guys. Jones could be special once he gets more fights under his belt. At this point, I don't see him beating Bonnar. Another one goes the distance, as Bonnar Wins by Decision.

Nate Diaz vs Clay Guida
I give Joe Silva crap for putting together idiotic fights, but you gotta give him credit for this one. I'd rate it as one of the most difficult fights to call in recent memory. Guida should be able to control the fight and put more pressure on Diaz than he has ever felt before. The problem is if the fight goes to the mat, Diaz's submission offense could end it in seconds.

Everyone likes to point to the Huerta loss as evidence Guida will be submitted by Diaz. I don't think it matters. Guida lost to Huerta because of strikes. The choke was after Guida took several big shots. Diaz submits people while the fight is on the ground. He's not proven himself to be a striker who swoops in once his opponent is hurt. I give Guida a solid chance of avoiding submissions, as long as he doesn't get caught with a strike.

I'm going with Guida. I just don't think Diaz has the stand-up to keep Guida at bay. I also do not see him doing enough damage to win a decision. Guida Wins by 2nd Round TKO. I'm almost positive Diaz will protest the ref's decision to stop the fight.

Lyoto Machida vs Thiago Silva
This won't be popular...I think both these guys are overrated. Who exactly have they beat? Machida has defeated Tito Ortiz, who didn't seem all that healthy to me, BJ Penn, who is 50 lbs or so lighter and the decision wasn't without controversy, and Rich Franklin, who he fought way back in 2003. I'll give him credit for the Franklin win because it was a TKO, but the other two do not impress me at all. Until I see him beat a legit 205 pounder, I'm refraining from grabbing the tissues over this dude.

Silva has built his overrated reputation by being exciting. He ends fights quickly and with brutality. I can appreciate that. I just don't rate wins over Antonio Mendes, Houston Alexander, and Tomasz Drwal as anything special.

Don't get me wrong here. I believe either of these two could be a future champion. I'm not saying they aren't talented or great fighters. All I'm saying is the vast majority of the MMA public rates them way above anything they've done in the ring. I prefer to sit back and let results talk for themselves, instead of listening to the UFC hype machine.

As far as the fight goes, if you like Machida, it's going to be nerve-wracking to watch the 1st Round. Silva's striking is scary and could end things with one well placed strike. If Machida gets through the 1st Round, things should get easier. He's used to going deep into fights and should control things however he wants. As big strikers get tired, they tend to telegraph their strikes. This plays right into Machida's hands. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and predict Machida Wins by 3rd Round TKO. No decision. He will tire out Silva and get a stoppage.

BJ Penn vs Georges St-Pierre (Welterweight Title)
As most of you already know, I picked BJ Penn about a week ago. Nothing since then has made me change my mind, including all the emails I received from GSP gaggers telling me I'm an idiot. History is a funny thing, especially in regards to perception vs reality. When St-Pierre defeated Penn by split decision in 2006, the perception was he was handed a win by the judges. Six months later Penn gassed against Matt Hughes and was stopped. It was at that point the public's perception of the first St-Pierre/Penn fight changed. Penn became the posterboy for a lack of cardio. Instead of people talking about how he busted up GSP's face and left the fight largely unscathed, everyone began talking about how he must have been out of shape and that's why GSP took him down in the final two rounds. While I do think that's partly true, it does not mean GSP won the fight.

Anyways, no need for me to rewrite my thoughts.

"BJ Penn is going to defeat Georges St-Pierre. I don't care about the size difference. The five day training holiday does not bother me. The lack of quality training partners doesn't worry me. BJ Penn is going to defeat Georges St-Pierre.

I was firmly in the GSP camp for awhile because I envisioned the second fight going much like the first. Penn would control the stand-up until he hurt GSP, at which point it would become a wrestling match. St-Pierre's natural instinct always reverts to wrestling. It's his biggest strength and no one at 170 lbs is anywhere near his talent level. The problem with this is the fight will be five rounds.

It's very difficult to control an opponent for five rounds, let alone someone as dangerous as Penn. It would impress me more if St-Pierre could control Penn for five rounds and win a unanimous decision, than if he TKO'd him on the ground. Eventually the fighters will be standing and I believe Penn will hurt him enough to take over and win the fight. There is the possibility St-Pierre can get him down and finish from the top. If Matt Hughes did it, I'm willing to say it is a possibility. I just don't think St-Pierre will be able to do it. Penn is better at fighting off his back than St-Pierre is on his feet. To me this is what the fight comes down to. I believe more in Penn's advantage on the feet than St-Pierre's on the ground. He can finish easier than GSP can on the ground.

Since their first fight in March of 2006, St-Pierre has gone 5-1. His opponents were some of the best Welterweights in the world, but none of them were dangerous strikers. Hughes, Serra, Koscheck, Hughes again, Serra again, Fitch...these are not fighters you worry about on your feet. It should also be noted Serra (who is smaller than BJ Penn and far less adept at striking) managed to drop St-Pierre and TKO him. People can write it off as luck, but if St-Pierre was as invincible as everyone claims, he never would have lost that fight. He has a weakness and it's striking defense. Penn is going to win and the end will come from a strike.

(Yes, I'm prepared to take the abuse from St-Pierre gaggers if Penn loses)"

Penn Wins by 2nd Round TKO

Friday, January 30, 2009

Wanderlei to 185 lbs

It's true. Wanderlei Silva will move down to 185 lbs for his next fight. Even if he has some cardio issues from the drop in weight, I still would put him in the top three in the UFC's Middleweight Division behind Anderson Silva and Dan Henderson. He just could not take the punches at Light Heavyweight anymore. When he was younger, he ate a few shots each fight and kept coming forward. At Middleweight, he should be able to withstand most of the strikes without being concreted (obviously A. Silva and Dan Henderson's right hand are exceptions).

The move also will put some excitement back into the Middleweight Division. He's a real threat with his size and knockout power. Anderson Silva has made a living beating up guys who couldn't knock him out with a sledgehammer. Against Wanderlei, he'd at least have to respect his striking.

They should put Wanderlei against Yushin Okami first. It would make perfect sense. The UFC doesn't want Okami to be successful, but he keeps winning. Let Wanderlei knock him out then you don't have to cave in and waste an Anderson Silva fight with the inevitable beating he'd give Okami. Plus, Wanderlei has a long history of pounding the hell out of Japanese fighters.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Apparently the UFC felt dressing Dana White like an art thief would make you want to come to his party.

UFC 94 Live Coverage

RearNakedNews.com will have UFC 94 Live Results this Saturday night. Don't miss any of the action with Full Play-by-Plays of all the fights and my unique take on the event. As anyone who has ever followed along knows, RearNakedNews.com provides the most entertaining MMA Live Blogs on the internet. There really isn't any comparison.

GSP Punch-Out!!



"Does he quit in the game too?" - BJ Penn

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

De La Hoya Is Mad

It is no secret Oscar De La Hoya hates Larry Merchant. It's also not a secret a lot of other people hate Larry Merchant, including just about every Spanish speaking boxing fan. The hatred stems from 1997 when prior to De La Hoya's fight with Pernell Whitaker, a mariachi band provided Oscar's entrance music by playing in the ring and Merchant remarked, "As wonderful as this music is...in this setting it sucks. Unless they follow it with some soul music." His point was it was disrespectful to Whitaker, who was the Welterweight Champion, to have a band performing in the ring prior to the fight. Whether you think it was a harmless comment or not, the Latino community and De La Hoya did not, and they went to great lengths to get him fired. Time Warner, HBO's parent company, refused to fire Merchant and instead made him apologize on the air. This did not sit well with De La Hoya or the Latino community.

It should be noted this was not the first time a high profile boxer tried to get Merchant fired. When Mike Tyson left HBO for Showtime it was reported his promoter Don King asked HBO to fire Merchant, in addition to asking for a ridiculous amount of money to resign. HBO refused and Tyson left for Showtime. The exact reasons why King and Tyson wanted Merchant fired are difficult to tell. Some people think it was simply a power play by King to exert control over HBO. Others claim Tyson hated Merchant and felt he was a bigot. I'd say both are true. Either way, Merchant has a way of pissing off profitable boxers.

Merchant's latest verbal gaffe about De La Hoya's 5 million reasons to attend Affliction "Day of Reckoning" has set off a firestorm of negative publicity. Richard Schaefer, Golden Boy's CEO, flatly denied the accusation and it seems like he was telling the truth. Sherdog caught up with Merchant, probably by telegraph, and he did his best to act senile. According to Merchant, he was confused and did not fully understand the relationship between Affliction and Golden Boy. I actually believe him there, but maybe the next time he is unclear about a story, he should keep his mouth shut.

I don't think this will be the end of Merchant's run on HBO. He's survived worse. The thing it does show me is the influence of MMA is greater than ever before. Thanks to a bunch of MMA fans with websites, Merchant's comments became a big deal. If Merchant did not think much of the sport before Saturday night, he does now.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

UFC's February Drought

January has already been a crazy month for MMA and we haven't even gotten to GSP/Penn II, which also happens to have other fights I'm psyched for like Guida/Diaz, Machida/Silva, and the return of Karo. Anyways, today I was on UFC.com and noticed how incredibly awful the month of February will be. This has nothing to do with the inevitable snow and freezing temperatures. I'm speaking strictly of the crap cards the UFC expects us to dine on. Lauzon/Stephens as headliners? Ehhhhhhhh. Sanchez vs Stevenson on top of a tape-delayed show? Woof.

The March 7th show in Columbus isn't much better (it almost was kinda good, but the Hazelett injury is a killer). It contains an interesting main event because Dana White will be praying the entire time that Jardine doesn't beat Rampage (Jardine and Evans don't wanna fight). Other than that it's a card featuring Brandon Vera, Matt Hamill, and Gray Maynard. If they add Reese Andy to the card, I'm starting one of those online petition that never achieves anything.

Vindication

Of the 13,228 who attended "Day of Reckoning", only 8,946 paid (4,282 free seats). This means 32% of the audience did not pay. While it is typical to give away tickets, 32% is a huge number. At Affliction "Banned" in July, they sold 11,242 tickets and only gave away 24%(3,590). Adding to their problems, the live gate made $1.5 million. "Banned" made $2.1 million. When you subtract the fighter pay ($3,308,000), Affliction lost $1,795,250. That's only the reported fighter pay. The total is really higher because MMA operates under a ridiculous umbrella, which shields the actual paychecks from the public.

As I'm sure some would point out, Affliction also made money on advertising and merchandise sales. While true, I seriously doubt they made up the difference. The in-ring ads were from mostly minor companies and with advertising down everywhere, I find it hard to believe "Day of Reckoning" reeled in much. On the other hand, merchandise sales most certainly helped. You also have to factor in the publicity these shows garner for the clothing company. I've said from the start that Affliction can operate at a loss, as long as they write it off as an advertising expense for the clothing line. The shows help them bridge the gap between MMA and mainstream.

I want to see Affliction succeed because it's good for the sport to have competition, but it's not looking good. I do feel vindicated, though.

Someone Is Lying

It's either Larry Merchant or Richard Schaefer (CEO of Golden Boy).

The part I like is the list of things Golden Boy does for Affliction:
Golden Boy and Affliction announced a partnership in December to promote MMA shows together and, potentially, a combined boxing/MMA card. Schaefer said Affliction, which manufactures high-end T-shirts that are popular with young MMA fans, would use its network of 22,000 stores to help promote the events.

It in turn, he said, would then cover all expenses, including paying the purses of the fighters and marketing the event. Golden Boy's end of the deal, Schaefer said, would be to run the operational side of things and arrange for licensing, handle the fighters' medicals, book the venues and deal with the relevant state athletic commissions. Affliction Entertainment does not have a promoter's license.

Golden Boy also promised to make De La Hoya available to help market and promote the events.
It sounds like Golden Boy is doing a lot, but really all those things add up to, "Golden Boy will make some calls to their friends in high places to make sure the event happens." Another way to think about it is if you imagine Affliction as a freshman in college who needs to make some money. They really want to sell drugs, but don't have a supplier. To get around this rather large hurdle, they seek out a notable campus dealer and agree to pay him for product. All the dealer is doing is calling his supplier and ordering more. He's a middleman, just like Golden Boy.

Monday, January 26, 2009

All Over the Place

  • Kid Yamamoto coming to the WEC?
  • Tom Atencio is not an easy guy to interview. I'll sum this entire interview up in a Tom Atencio sentence, "Well, ya know, we uh want to have a third show, but, ya know, we don't know where or when, or maybe July, and, ya know, it was a packed house tonight, uh, I think it was successful with Vitor, ya know, and, uh, Gilbert Yvel fought a good fight, man, ya know?"
  • UFC Undisputed Video Game Roster. GSP looks like Tom Atencio.
  • Continuing our Tom Atencio theme, he claims Larry Merchant is lying.
  • Jens Pulver is confused about his future.
  • Antonio Rogerio Nogueira will fight in Brazil this April.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Shut Up Larry Merchant

"A celebrity who is here in bronze only (De La Hoya has a bronze statue at Staples Center), Oscar De La Hoya, the live version, is in nearby Anaheim, where his company got a $5 million fee from a t-shirt maker so that he would be personally involved [in] the promotion of a Mixed Martial Arts show. It would take that much, Jim, to get me to go to one of those things."

It's time to roll over and die, Larry. The times have passed you and boxing by. You stopped being a reporter years ago and are now a guy fans wait to laugh at each time you open your mouth. I once said it would be funny to have you on an MMA card. I take it back. We have Tito now.

And maybe the reason De La Hoya attended and stayed at "Day of Reckoning" was his son asked him to. You see, that's the difference between boxing and MMA. People under the age of 131 actually care about it.

13,228

According to Tom Atencio, 13,228 fans were in attendance for "Day of Reckoning". Their first event "Banned" had 14,832 with 3,590 complimentary tickets, which boils down to 24% of the audience being non-paying customers. If we take a conservative approach and say 20% of the fans this time around were given free tickets, it drops Affliction's attendance to 10,583 actual ticket sales. It's not a disaster or a success, but it should keep Affliction afloat for another show.

UPDATE: According to MMAMania, Affliction spent $3,308,000 on salaries last night. The first event drew $2.1 million at the gate, which means "Day of Reckoning" probably cost them upwards of $1.5 million. We don't have the salaries for the rest of the crew (Chuck Zito, Scott Ferrall, production crew, arena crew, the other two announcers, ring girls, etc), so it might even be more. If I was an MMA promotion, I'd hire the late 80s road crew from Guns N Roses to setup all my shows. Those guys work for nothing but beer, whisky, and groupies.

Tito Is Not A Broadcaster

Tito stole the show. My first post after an excellent night of fights and it's about an announcer. He managed to make me think, "Well, at least Chuck Zito wasn't as bad as Tito." To me this is a historic moment in MMA. Tito hit .400 tonight. Someone seal these in a time capsule, so future generations can have a good laugh during times of tragedy.

-"He has devastating punches and it shows he can take a devastating punch" - Tito on Kiril.

-Tito is interviewing Babalu. This is hilarious. Tito said "awesome" about eight times within fifteen seconds. Babalu ends the interview by calling Tito out. The fans probably would have cheered, if they had any idea what he was saying.

-I think Tito just called Fedor "Femelianko Edor". Seriously.

-"You just beat the number two guy in the world, buddy!" - Tito to Belfort

-"I see him beating Anderson Silva. I see him picking him apart. Him at a 131 years old...(trails off)." - Tito on Belfort

-"Here we go! Here we go! We got Josh Barnett with a dominant fashion!" - Tito's introduction to his post-fight interview with Josh Barnett

-"This is the fight of the night right here." - Prior to Fedor/Arlovski, Tito states the obvious.

-"Let me tell you how you feelin' right now." - Tito to Fedor

-"The pound for pound best heavyweight in the world...Congratulations, buddy!" - Tito to Fedor

-"That last knockout finished the night and gave everybody a little early Fourth of July." - Tito sums up the evening.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Day of Reckoning Live Results

Live Blog has started.

Preliminary Card
Cooper def Speight by 1st Rd TKO
Rios def Duarte by Unanimous Decision
Davis def Quach by Unanimous Decision

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs Vladamir Matyushenko
-They are moving things along rather quickly. Not much time at all between fights. At their first PPV they didn't even get to all the fights, so I guess tonight it is a priority to get through the entire card.
-Big Nog trailing Little Nog like a shadow. Actually, if Big Nog keeps getting his head knocked off, I might nickname him "Shadow Nog".
-I don't care what anyone says, having Bas Rutten in the booth is always a good thing. Hearing him say "Yuep" to everything Kenny Rice says never gets old. All right, it does by hour three.

Round 1
Nogueira dancing around while Matyushenko plods around. Bas Rutten clears his throat REALLY LOUD. A big right hand counter partially connects for Nogueira. Nogueira lands a decent jab. Inside leg kick for Nogueira. Fans still booing. Extremely slow round. Right lands for Nogueira. A knee by Nogueira connects with Matyushenko's head. Nothing major. Can I score that 7-7? I'm scoring it a 7-7 round because the most exciting thing that happened was when Bas cleared his throat into the microphone.

Round 2
Matyushenko connects with a right. Another connects. A big strike pushes Nogueira back. Matyushenko is crowding him. Some bodyshots land. Nogueira in retreat. He looks to be okay, but that got scary pretty quick. Rutten clears his throat, again. I love it. Matyushenko going for some leg kicks. Nogueira coming in now. Lands a left and a nice knee to the head. Chasing Matyushenko around the ring. He comes in and another knee to the head drops him. It's over. Nogueira Wins by 2nd Round TKO.

-Awful fight. Kind of an odd stoppage. Matyushenko fell after the second knee to the head then Nogueira sorta hovered over him until the referee stepped in.

-I think we're going to have dead time until 9pm ET when the PPV begins.

-Hieron/High fight might not happen because of time constraints.

-Tito screwing up all his lines. Seems nervous. His head is bobbing around like crazy and he's gripping the microphone like his life depends on it.

-Oh God. They've got Scott Ferrall and Chuck Zito backstage interviewing people. Does Affliction just look for ways to piss away money? It took Chuck thirty seconds to ask Freddie Roach, "What do you think about Arlovski's boxing?" I'm not even kidding.

-Odd opening. All the fighters are standing in a line on a stage in the dark. "Mother" is playing. And they are introducing each.

Jay Hieron vs Jason High
-Probably not happening because of time constraints.
-Actually ended up happening after the main event. Hieron Won by 1st Round KO.

-19 minutes in and still no fighting. The UFC pulls this crap too. They could have had the Heiron/High fight twice by now. It makes even less sense when you consider Hieron is on the damn event poster.

-Oscar De La Hoya shown seated with I guess his son or someone he kidnapped.

Dan Lauzon vs Bobby Green

Round 1
Green coming hard at Lauzon. He's jumping at him with flying knees. Lauzon misses a huge right. A kick lands low and Lauzon is bent over in pain. After landing he connects with a few punches before Herb Dean notices there's a fight going on and calls a timeout. The kick wasn't that low. It looked like it mostly hit his stomach. Maybe Lauzon tapes his balls to his stomach. Who knows? And we're back...Lauzon charges in then falls down backwards. Back to their feet and Green slams him with a belly to back. Lauzon goes for a triangle on the ground, but Green gets out of trouble. Green lets him up. More kicks and knees from Green. Another low blow. Herb Dean says he'll take a point away from Green for the next low blow. Nice of you to show up, Herb. Lauzon claims he was hit again with a low blow. The replay showed it was a belt shot towards the hip. Two points have been deducted! Very suspect low blow and double deduction. Green is hilarious. He just looked over the rope, saw De La Hoya and Donald Trump and said "Aw damn, Donald Trump and Oscar De La Hoya." They restart and Green is coming forward again. Lauzon sorta falls down and looks for a guillotine. Green gets out, but now Lauzon has a heel hook. Green gets out again. Lauzon pivots nicely to Green's back and sinks in a rear naked choke. Green taps with seconds left in the round. Lauzon Wins by 1st Round Submission (Rear Naked Choke)

-A lot of boos for Lauzon after the fight.

-That was such a weird fight. Lauzon had to be acting. It was smart move because Green was hurting him with strikes.

Paul Buentello vs Kiril Sidelnikov
-Kiril looks like he's either gonna kill someone or crap himself.

Round 1
Big John McCarthy is back in action. A nice leg kick by Kiril. An uppercut lands for Buentello. Kiril has him crowded into the corner and his landing short shots to head and body. Kiril throwing some violent looking combinations. Lots of punches from both. They're barely missing their mark. Swelling on left side of Kiril's face. Buentello lands a nice uppercut in close. Jab connects for Kiril. Buentello replies with a stiff jab of his own. Kiril now bleeding from the left side where the swelling was. Some solid knees land for Buentello to end the round. Buentello 10-9

Round 2
Wicked looking left-right combo lands for Buentello. Kiril connects with a left. The announcers are whacking it to everything Buentello does. You'd think he was Marvin Hagler with all the compliments they're dishing out. A right hand staggers Buentello for a second. Kiril closes in and throwing punches from every angle. Buentello grabs him before anymore damage can be done. A left lands for Buentello. A heavy left snaps Kiril's head back. That probably drops most fighters, but Kiril doesn't look hurt. Another left, not as heavy, but still solid. Kiril definitely has the Fedor Recovery Gene. Another left lands for Buentello. He was losing the round until this left hand barrage started. Buentello 10-9

Round 3
Jabs landing for Buentello. A solid uppercut lands for Buentello. I don't know how Kiril hasn't been at least staggered. Buentello keeping his distance and landing jabs whenever he wants. A leg kick clips Kiril and he goes down briefly. His mouthpiece falls out and Big John McCarthy calls a timeout. Fight resumes for a minute then mouthpiece comes out again. Doctor looks at Kiril and ends the fight. Kiril basically spit the mouthpiece out the second time. Buentello Wins by 3rd Round TKO (Doctor Stoppage)

-Kiril might want to concentrate on his cardio a little more. He stopped moving his head after the early moments and Buentello took over. When fighters get tired, that's the first thing to go. They start plodding instead of moving and it's a bad sign.

-Juanito Ibarra is alive! They just showed him taking care of Kiril's busted face after the fight. I guess he's one of the cut guys for all the fighters, or at least the ones who don't bring their own.

-"He has devastating punches and it shows he can take a devastating punch" - Tito on Kiril.

Renato Sobral vs Rameau Sokoudjou
-One thing I hate about the production is you can hardly hear the entrance songs. The sound isn't right. The arena sound is very low. Also doesn't help when the announcers never shut up for more than three seconds at a time. Three man announcing booths are tough to pull off. Too many voices vying for too little time.

Round 1
Two in a row for Big John. Leg kick lands for Sokoudjou. Babalu goes for a weak takedown attempt that goes nowhere. Babalu ties him up and falls backwards. They get back up quickly. Babalu is determined to get a takedown. He drives Sokoudjou into the ropes. Has him into the corner and pulls guard. Sokoudjou throwing from the top. A scramble and they're back up to their feet. Babalu has him pushed into the corner again. Babalu landing some knees to the body and legs. They were mostly light. I have no idea who won that round. I'm calling it a tie.

Round 2
A right uppercut by Sokoudjou. Babalu comes back with two lefts. Babalu takes him down and is on top throwing short rights. He's in half guard now. Nice elbows landing for Babalu. Fight stopped for a moment because they were in the ropes. It's restarted in the middle of the ring. Lots of positioning work by Babalu. He gets to the side and slips in an arm triangle. Sokoudjou taps. Babalu Wins by 2nd Round Submission (Arm Triangle Choke)

-I called that one exactly.

-Tito is interviewing Babalu. This is hilarious. Tito said "awesome" about eight times within fifteen seconds. Babalu ends the interview by calling Tito out. The fans probably would have cheered, if they had any idea what he was saying.

Matt Lindland vs Vitor Belfort
-I think Tito just called Fedor "Femelianko Edor". Seriously.

Round 1
Oh my God! Belfort just killed him with a left hand counter and some ground punches. The ground punches put him out for good. 37 seconds. Lindland is still out! He's probably dead. Doctors are trying to wake him up. He's awake now and attacking the people around him. They've calmed him down. The doctors are trying to get Lindland off the mat, but he's moving around like a medicated cow. They wrap him in a neck brace. Lindland looks better now. They take the brace off and Lindland gets up on his own. Belfort Wins by 1st Round TKO.

-"You just beat the number two guy in the world, buddy!" - Tito

-"I see him beating Anderson Silva. I see him picking him apart. Him at a 131 years old...(trails off)." - Tito

-The Tito comments have gone from hilarious to hysterical. He can't stop talking and everyone time he opens his mouth, something ridiculous comes out. I'm not making any of these up. I swear.

-I'm glad Vitor won, even though I picked against him. I can't stand Lindland. I'm sure Vitor will get killed in his next fight and break my heart yet again, but oh well.

Josh Barnett vs Gilbert Yvel
-Yvel dancing his way to the ring. I think I solved the entrance song sound problem. They have the crowd noise turned way up and it's drowning out the music. The fans are actually pretty tame tonight. Not a terrible crowd, but nothing special.

Round 1
A cool staredown. Neither one looked away at all. A leg kick momentarily staggers Barnett. A takedown by Barnett. He was held up for a second and Yvel was landing right hands. Barnett in half guard throwing lots of punches. Looking for a kimura. Yvel wiggles his arm out. Barnett working on the arm, but can't stretch it out. Now he's back to pounding him from the top. Barnett moves to the full mount and is raining down punches. Yvel gives up his back as more punches fall. Herb Dean is refusing to stop it. Elbows now. A wild scramble ends the round. Both back to their feet and Barnett lands a punch. Barnett 10-8

Round 2
Barnett gets him right back down. He's in side control. Barnett landed 60+ strikes in the 1st round. He's working for the kimura again. Barnett shoots up and has a full mount. Yvel trying to throw from the bottom. Barnett looks tired. Short elbow lands for Barnett. Looks like he regained some energy is starting to throw more from the top. Yvel keeps punching from the bottom. Barnett went for an arm bar and Yvel ended up on top. Yvel ends the round with a couple punches from the top that connect. Barnett 10-9

Round 3
A huge takedown for Barnett. He's got a full mount. Short elbows from Barnett. Lefts and rights starting to land from the top. It's like watching a fat kid beat up a skinny kid on the playground. Fans starting to boo. Barnett begins to crank it up. Lefts are getting in. Yvel turns over on side and Barnett landing more flush. Yvel taps from strikes. Barnett Wins by 3rd Round Submission (Strikes).

-By the way, between the 2nd and 3rd, Chuck Zito was backstage and described Vitor's initial knockdown of Lindland as a "flash knockdown". It was probably the exact opposite of that. Wasn't there a meeting where someone at Affliction said, "Hey, maybe having Chuck Zito interviewing people is a bad idea?"

-"Here we go! Here we go! We got Josh Barnett with a dominant fashion!" - Tito

-Barnett apologizes for performance after fight. Says, "I gotta step it up next time." Really no need to apologize. Yvel is just a tough dude who decided to take a beating.

-Barnett ends interview with Tito by listing a bunch of tragic events that have happened to the people around him recently. He's like Hurley.

Andrei Arlovski vs Fedor Emelianenko
-Lights out for Fedor's entrance. I'd tell you what scary Russian music was playing, but the crowd noise is turned up to 11.
-"This is the fight of the night right here." - Tito
-Big John working the ropes again. I'm really glad he's back. He's the only referee I sorta feel comfortable with in big fights.
-Fans giving Fedor a huge ovation.

Round 1
Arlovski starts with a leg kick then lands a right hand. It landed flush. Fedor shook it off. Another kick by Arlovski. A heavy exchange with both missing big shots. Fedor wrestles him into the ropes. Arlovski actually almost threw him down, but Fedor regained his balance and now has Arlovski pushed into the corner. Big John breaks them for inaction. Arlovski glances Fedor with a straight right. Three minutes in and Arlovski is winning the round. Another right lands for Arlovski. A straight kick to the body pushes Fedor into the corner. He goes for a flying knee but Fedor connects with a huge right hand that knocks Arlovski totally out. He's on his face out. Fedor Wins by 1st Round KO.

-Unbelievable end. Arlovski came in for a flying knee and his momentum carried him directly into Fedor's overhand right that hit directly on the chin. It was a perfect punch. A tenth of a millisecond later and it misses. I think he also sustained damage when his head hit the canvas. The odd part about it was watching the first three minutes, it seemed like Arlovski was going to connect with something and hurt Fedor. So the ending was very dramatic because it really had the feeling like Arlovski could pull this off.

-"Let me tell you how you feelin' right now." - Tito to Fedor

-"The pound for pound best heavyweight in the world...Congratulations, buddy!" - Tito

-God, if you're listening, can you make Tito have chronic back problems, so he remains in the booth and doing post-fight interviews? Please.

-"That last knockout finished the night and gave everybody a little early Fourth of July." - Tito

Day of Reckoning Preview

(I want to remind everyone that BetUS.com is not only a sponsor of this site, but also the online sportsbook I personally use. If you are thinking about making a pick tonight, check out their MMA Betting Lines. The Kiril/Buentello line is looking particularly appetizing to me.)

RearNakedNews.com
will have Live Results for Affliction "Day of Reckoning" starting tonight at 8:00pm ET. Don't miss any of the action with our Live Coverage and Full Play-by-Plays.

CLICK HERE FOR LIVE RESULTS

Jay Hieron vs Jason High
High enters the fight a bit of an unknown commodity to most fans. He looks like a bodybuilder, which worries me, because Weigh-In Stars never seem to do well. I wish I could tell you more about him, but he's not really fought enough for me to make any educated statements. He beat Kevin Burns, although it was a doctor stoppage, so you never know why exactly it ended. On the other hand, Hieron is a proven winner with certifiable results. This one smells of a "put up job". Affliction wants and needs Hieron to win. High is their patsy. Heiron Wins by Submission.

Vladamir Matyushenko vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
I love rematches. Matyushenko defeated Nogueira in 2002 and since then has gone 10-1. Unfortunately his defeat came by way of knockout to Andrei Arlovski in a high profile fight on a UFC PPV. That sort of thing can kill a career, unless you're Chuck Liddell. Nogueira rebounded from the loss to Matyushenko by slicing through some of Pride's best, including a submission victory over Dan Henderson. I don't think Matyushenko's 2002 victory holds any sway over what happens tonight. It was Nogueira's fourth professional fight and both have changed over the past 6+ years. At this point in time I think Nogueira is better. His striking is much improved and it will show. I don't expect this one to end early, though. Nogueira Wins by Decision.

Paul Buentello vs Kiril Sidelnikov
This will be Kiril's first fight in America and it will be fascinating to watch how he handles it. He's only 20 years old and his potential is obvious to anyone who watches him. Buentello has never impressed me. He reminds too much of the early "Ultimate Fighters" for me to take him seriously. Somehow he is still the favorite, though. I think Kiril impresses the crowd with a TKO victory. Afterwards he slaps his belly like Kamala to the delight of all.

Renato Sobral vs Rameau Sokoudjou
This is the best pairing of the year, so far. Two of the sport's hardest to figure out fighters going head to head. It feels like Sokoudjou has been fighting for fifteen years when really it's only been two years since he knocked out Little Nog in 23 seconds. His trip to the UFC was a disaster thanks in part to awful matchmaking. When your sixth professional fight is against Lyoto Machida, you need to hire a new agent. He also didn't get any favors with the Luis Cane fight, either. Anyways, he's fighting for Affliction now and maybe it will bring a return to Pride form.

Babalu was rumored to face Tito Ortiz at the postponed "Day of Reckoning" event, but the fight and the show never materialized. I still hope they end up fighting. A win by Babalu over Sokoudjou would set up the Ortiz fight perfectly for Affliction's next PPV (if they remain in business).

As far as fighting styles go, Sokoudjou is still raw. He relies on his strength and speed, while Babalu is more technical. For Babalu to win, he needs to take Sokoudjou into the 2nd or 3rd round and sink in a submission. Despite what Sokoudjou says about his improved diet, I don't buy it. I believe he had less weight to cut. I believe he's eating much better. I don't believe this magically transforms him into a late round fighter. He's still a 1st round knockout artist until he proves otherwise in the ring. This one won't be popular and could make me look foolish if it ends brutally...Babalu Wins by 2nd Round Submission.

Matt Lindland vs Vitor Belfort
Chances are this one goes to the judges and comes down to Lindland's control vs Belfort's striking. 97% of the time American judges side with control. Belfort will need to finish Lindland or hurt him repeatedly. If it sounds like I'm leaning towards a Lindland decision win, you'd be correct. However, a quick look at Lindland's recent fights made me reconsider. Since 2006, Lindland is 5-2. His wins came over Fabio Leopoldo, Mike Van Arsdale, Jeremy Horn, Carlos Newton, and Fabio Negao. Why exactly is he considered a top five Middleweight again? Maybe we have put too much emphasis on his two weight jumps to fight Fedor and Quinton Jackson (losses in each), and not enough on his other mediocre competition.

Belfort is difficult to figure out. His talent ropes people in then boom a letdown. It would not surprise me if he knocked out Lindland in the first minute or was submitted in the first thirty seconds. Belfort's recent wins have come over even worse competition than Lindland's. It's bad when defeating Terry Martin causes fans to lose their minds.

My hope is Lindland will tire himself out in the 1st round and Belfort will drop him in the 2nd. It's possible, although I wouldn't mortgage my future on it. The more likely scenario is Lindland will battle his way through each round. He'll take some strikes, but mostly avoid the bigger shots. Once he has Belfort on the ground, we'll get to see the best lay n' pray in the business. Lindland Wins by Split Decision. (Sorry, I can't have my heart broken by Belfort again. I'll be cheering for him, though. I promise.)

Josh Barnett vs Gilbert Yvel
Barnett looked sluggish early on against Pedro Rizzo at Affliction "Banned". He got it together in the 2nd round and ended it with an awesome knockout. There is a lot at stake for Barnett tonight. All that stands in his way between a huge fight with the winner of Fedor/Arlovski is Gilbert Yvel.

Yvel is one of the most interesting head cases in sports. His meltdowns are legendary. He also sports nasty striking, which has ended 30 of his 35 wins. Expect to see kicks and punches coming from unusual angles. The biggest problem Yvel will have is dealing with Barnett's wrestling and submissions. If he can keep it standing for extended periods of time, he'll do damage.

When Barnett stood with Pedro Rizzo and knocked him out, it was impressive. Coming into the fight, Rizzo was thought to have the clear advantage on their feet. That said, I do not think Barnett can win a striking battle with Yvel. He hits much harder than Rizzo. Barnett needs to frustrate Yvel by closing the distance and force him into some mistakes. A wild miss is all it will take for Barnett to get the fight to the ground. Once there, I expect a submission. Barnett Wins by 1st Round Submission (something involving a leg).

Fedor Emelianenko vs Andrei Arlovski
Fedor has made a living off being unflappable in the ring. He lets other fighters talk then destroys them. Arlovski hasn't done much talking on his own, but his boxing trainer Freddie Roach just can't shut his mouth. Affliction should be thankful Roach decided to badmouth Fedor's boxing skills, because it was really the only "Day of Reckoning" story to get play in the past month. I do have to give Affliction some credit for rebounding from the Inauguration Press Conference to have a successful build-up to the PPV. They actually promoted the card this week very well. I'm not sure why they waited. Obviously Fedor refused to do much promo work, but I'm sure the other fighters would have been more than happy to ham it up on radio shows and smile for pictures. It's too bad they waited so long. With a longer promotional tour, this event might have done solid PPV business.

Back to the task at hand...Roach's words will not stop Fedor from taking Arlovski down. They also will not help Arlovski fend off the brutal ground and pound tactics that have made Fedor the best fighter in MMA. He's unlike anyone else when he's striking from the top. For most fighters, it's unlikely they will inflict damage inside full guard. With Fedor, you expect it (2:30 mark). There is no one else like him and probably never will be.

Arlovski faces the daunting task of winning a fight with only one tool at his disposal. He needs to knockout someone who has never been stopped before. If the fight goes to the mat, it's probably over. Time is not on Arlovski's side. The 1st round will be his best chance to hit Fedor with something deadly. As the fight progresses, Arlovski will tire and not be able to keep Fedor at a distance. All it takes is one moment when he does not throw a punch in time and Fedor will grab hold. If Roy Nelson could get him down, I'm thinking Fedor will too. Fedor Wins by 2nd Round TKO (strikes from the top).

Rise of the Muffin Tops

Someone should send MMAJunkie and Combatlifestyle.com little league trophies for taking these pictures. I'd never be able to do it without laughing and making jokes. Then Fedor and Kiril would jump off the stage and beat the crap out of me. The only thing missing from the weigh-ins was a shirtless Tim Sylvia, who instead chose to be the most expensive photo prop in Mixed Martial Arts.



Friday, January 23, 2009

UFC Primetime Ratings

The second episode of UFC Primetime drew 825,000 viewers, which is slightly down from last week's debut audience of 880,000. Still, it's a great sign when you retain over 93% of your audience following a premiere.

Something tells me Dana White is sitting in a production studio working on storylines for UFC Primetime "Lauzon vs Franca".

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I'm Picking BJ Penn

BJ Penn is going to defeat Georges St-Pierre. I don't care about the size difference. The five day training holiday does not bother me. The lack of quality training partners doesn't worry me. BJ Penn is going to defeat Georges St-Pierre.

I was firmly in the GSP camp for awhile because I envisioned the second fight going much like the first. Penn would control the stand-up until he hurt GSP, at which point it would become a wrestling match. St-Pierre's natural instinct always reverts to wrestling. It's his biggest strength and no one at 170 lbs is anywhere near his talent level. The problem with this is the fight will be five rounds.

It's very difficult to control an opponent for five rounds, let alone someone as dangerous as Penn. It would impress me more if St-Pierre could control Penn for five rounds and win a unanimous decision, than if he TKO'd him on the ground. Eventually the fighters will be standing and I believe Penn will hurt him enough to take over and win the fight. There is the possibility St-Pierre can get him down and finish from the top. If Matt Hughes did it, I'm willing to say it is a possibility. I just don't think St-Pierre will be able to do it. Penn is better at fighting off his back than St-Pierre is on his feet. To me this is what the fight comes down to. I believe more in Penn's advantage on the feet than St-Pierre's on the ground. He can finish easier than GSP can on the ground.

Since their first fight in March of 2006, St-Pierre has gone 5-1. His opponents were some of the best Welterweights in the world, but none of them were dangerous strikers. Hughes, Serra, Koscheck, Hughes again, Serra again, Fitch...these are not fighters you worry about on your feet. It should also be noted Serra (who is smaller than BJ Penn and far less adept at striking) managed to drop St-Pierre and TKO him. People can write it off as luck, but if St-Pierre was as invincible as everyone claims, he never would have lost that fight. He has a weakness and it's striking defense. Penn is going to win and the end will come from a strike.

(Yes, I'm prepared to take the abuse from St-Pierre gaggers if Penn loses)

Affliction Loses a Fighter

Chris Horodecki has not been cleared to fight by the California State Athletic Commission. MMAJunkie is reporting the issue was neurological. Tom Atencio is looking for a replacement to face Dan Lauzon, but at this point no one has been named. The loss of Horodecki puts Affliction in tough spot because his fight with Lauzon was to be on the main card. They could bump up the Nogueira/Matyushenko fight to the PPV, instead of having it serve as the final bout on HDNet. Either way it sucks because the Lauzon/Horodecki fight was one of the more interesting matchups on the card.

UPDATE: Five Ounces claims Horodecki has less than 15% strength in his right arm likely due to a bulging disc in his neck.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cool Like Fedor


When Fedor showed up today at the well-timed Affliction press conference, I couldn't believe my eyes. It wasn't just the fact he was wearing an old prop from The Cosby Show, it was that he wore it two days in a row. First, on The Opie and Anthony Show then to the NYC press conference the next day. It's either that or he owns more than one. It reminded me of the opening paragraph of Neal Pollack's short story "The Albania of My Existence".
I've been going to bed lately on a pile of jagged stones covered only by a thin cotton blanket half-eaten by moths. This is one of the worst possible sleeping arrangements I could imagine. Sometimes I wonder how things got this way, but I have to remember that I am a journalist, novelist, radio producer and poet, and I am here in Albania to find out what life is really like for a family in the poorest country in Europe. I have personally borne witness to much human suffering. People here are beset by unwanted refugees, obscure diseases, and limited opportunities to express themselves through fashion. I must tell you: Things are not good.
(It's also quite shocking when a sweater is able to deflect my attention away from Tito Ortiz's head and Oscar De La Hoya wearing lifts in his shoes.)

Subtle Punches by Franklin

Rich Franklin sat down with MMAJunkie and the quotes put things into perspective. He's excellent at something out there without committing to it.

On Henderson being a dirty fighter..."I would like to thank Dan and I clashing heads and the eye poke – I've never pegged Dan as a dirty fighter or anything like that," Franklin said. "But I've had people call me and say, 'I'm not so sure about that.' I haven't watched the fight on film, but I like to think Dan did that accidentally."

On the eye poke..."I couldn't see at the time, but there was a situation with Dan (Henderson) walking over to his corner," Franklin said. "I know when there's an accidental foul like that, your opponent is supposed to be instructed to go to a neutral corner. All I know is that I heard (corner man) Matt Hume yelling at the ref to send Dan to his neutral corner, and I heard him yell it a couple times while Dan (Miragliotta) was checking on me. I told Dan (Miragliotta) to send him to his neutral corner since I heard Matt yelling and didn't want Henderson standing in his corner getting instructions the whole time."

On Henderson's offense..."I don't think I won all three rounds, but I do think I did enough and should have won the second and third rounds," said Franklin, who was taken down four times in the first two rounds. "He took me down, but he really didn't do anything once he had me there. Nothing landed. I was pretty much able to get up every time he took me down. In the second round, I don't think he landed one punch when he sat in my guard. He wasn't real active. He just kind of covered me to make sure I didn't get back up."

On the decision..."'How could that happen?' That was my first thought," Franklin said. "How could one judge see three rounds in my favor and two other judges see two of the rounds in his favor?"

So You Wanna Be A Fighter II?



As terrible as his eye looks, I'd rather have Rich Franklin's injuries than Mark Coleman's.

Affliction Still Clueless

When Affliction began making weird decisions, I wrote it off as a new promotion trying to find their footing. I figured the mistakes would dissipate with time and by 2009 they would have their act together. Well, it's 2009 and Affliction still doesn't have a clue.

For thousands of media outlets around the world, today was inauguration day for Barack Obama. It is not just a big story, it is the only story that matters. For some strange reason, Affliction's promotion department (God, I'd love to see those meetings) decided it was a good idea to hold a press conference today at 11am, which just so happens to be when the inauguration ceremony gets going. While Barack Obama was giving a speech, seen and heard by tens of millions, Fedor was being asked about his belly.

I realize they are holding other press conferences this week, but maybe it would have been a good idea to at least have today's at a different time.

Affliction Live Coverage

RearNakedNews.com will have Affliction "Day of Reckoning" Live Results this Saturday night. Our Live Coverage of "Day of Reckoning" will include full play-by-play of all the PPV fights and as always my unique thoughts on the event. We won't have Frank Trigg to laugh at, but with Tito in the booth, I'm sure it'll be a good time.

Evan Tanner Articles

Just wanted to pass these along. Both are worth your time.

Monday, January 19, 2009

So You Wanna Be A Fighter?


Apparently Coleman claims he did not have enough money for a proper training camp and that led to his cardio issues.

I could write a boring post about how terrible it is for a pioneer of the sport to be reduced to this, but instead I'm going to offer the UFC a suggestion. Why not make Coleman the backstage reporter for all UFC events? No other fighter can touch the drama of his backstage moments. He'd be the Mean Gene Okerlund of the UFC. All they'd have to do is convince him to wear a tuxedo and grow a mustache.

UFC 93 Final Thoughts

-Expectations are a tricky thing in professional sports. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua is finding this out first hand, after his uneven performance at UFC 93. It seems like everyone with an internet connection is coming after him for not being what they wanted him to be. While I agree his fight with Mark Coleman was strange and probably should have ended sooner, it's not like he went out and was submitted by Alan Belcher. When Brandon Vera spent three rounds dancing with Reese Andy, the outcry wasn't even this bad. Rua controlled most of the fight, staggered Coleman multiple times, and was never in serious trouble. I think everyone needs to take a deep breath and remember this is a fighter coming off serious injuries and a loss. For him to be cautious and have cardio issues in his return to the Octagon after 16 months is not shocking. If anything, it's realistic.

-The other thing is Mark Coleman deserves an enormous amount of credit for what he did in the cage. If the punishment Jon Fitch took against Georges St-Pierre was a 10, I'd place Coleman's at a 7. He was hit repeatedly in the head, body, and legs yet even when the referee stepped in, he was trying to fight back. It's another thing people need to remember. You put most other fighters in that match and they're not making it to the third round. Yes, calling it the "Fight of the Night" was a stretch, but Coleman deserves every penny of the bonus he received.

-Rousimar Palhares is just another jiu-jitsu guy.

-Phil Baroni is the most inspirational corner guy since Duke in Rocky IV. His "You're a legend!" speech was the real world equivalent of Duke's "Got him hurt bad. Now he's worried. You cut him! You hurt him! You see! You see! He's not a machine! He's a man! You want it more than he does! No pain! No pain! No pain! Okay, take it to him!". Obviously not as dramatic, but this wasn't a movie. By the way, check out the trailer from Rocky IV. First, they give totally give away Apollo's death. Second, the exploding gloves at the end is the best finish to a trailer I have ever seen.

-Dan Miragliotta pulled another "Miragliotta" during the Henderson/Franklin main event. When I saw him before the fight, I knew something had to happen. He's as close to a real world bumbling professional wrestling referee as we'll ever get. No matter what there will be a moment where you say, "Does this guy know what he's doing?" That moment occured when he had to ask the Vice President of the UFC Marc Ratner how much time to give Franklin to recover. It does not make a difference that Ratner used to work for the Nevada State Athletic Commission. He no longer does and should not be consulted at ringside by a referee. The fact it came to that is yet another strike against Miragliotta's record. From now on, I'm referring to him as Earl Hebner.

-After rewatching the main event, I still think Franklin won.

-Give Marcus Davis the winner of Hughes/Serra. He's popular, always puts on entertaining fights, and he's very good. A potential match-up with Serra would probably sell better because you'd have a New York vs New England angle to play. People would eat it up. Davis and Serra play those roles anyway, so you might as well give them a grand stage.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Liddell vs Rua at UFC 97

The UFC is wasting little time getting their schedule in order. In addition to Rampage vs Jardine at UFC 96, they also announced Chuck Liddell will meet Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 97 in Montreal, Canada. This ends months of searching for a follow-up opponent for Liddell after he was brutally knocked out by Rashad Evans in September.

Rua, who looked good and bad at times against Mark Coleman, was originally scheduled to face Liddell last June, but had to pull out of the fight due to a knee injury. The fight will headline the Montreal card, which also features Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva defending his title against Thales Leites.

Rampage vs Jardine?

I must have left the room and missed it, but during the PPV broadcast they announced Rampage Jackson will face Keith Jardine in the main event of UFC 96 in Columbus, Ohio. Previously it had been reported Jardine would fight Luis Cane at UFC 97. I guess the UFC ran out of options for UFC 96 and decided they had to schedule something people would care about.

I don't understand why Rampage took the fight. Maybe they offered him extra money, because you would think the former champion did enough at UFC 92 to warrant a shot at Rashad Evans and the Light Heavyweight Title.

Silva Kills Jardine
Rampage Kills Silva
Rampage vs Jardine?

UFC 93 Live Results


Live Blog has started.

!!!Please support our Sponsors!!!

If you're bored, read this stuff.

UFC 93 Preview and Predictions
"Now It's War."
TUF 9 Is A Mess
Best of MMA 2008

Preliminary Card
Siver def. Mohr (3rd Rd TKO)
Drwal def. Serati (1st Rd TKO)
Schafer def. Mendes (1st Rd TKO)
Kampmann def. Barros (2nd Rd TKO)
Hathaway def. Egan (1st Rd TKO)

-Preliminary Card is over.

-ESPN.com has a game going on called Streak for the Cash. People pick games and if you get like a million in a row correct, you win a million dollars. Anyway, they have the Franklin/Henderson fight as a choice today and so far 62.5% of the picks have been for Franklin.

-Rogan and Goldberg doing their introductions.

-"There was no doubt who Davis wanted to fight next...Chris "Lights Out" Lytle." - Goldberg. Um, actually there was.

Marcus Davis vs Chris Lytle
-Davis comes out to "Jump Around" and the fans are eating it up. They're literally dancing.
-Huge ovation for Davis as he enters the cage.
-Lytle almost has as many losses (16) as Davis has wins (20).

Round 1
Fans chanting as round begins. A big right lands for Lytle and Davis staggers into the cage. Lytle doesn't go in for the kill. Davis recovers. A nice uppercut/left hook combo by Davis. Body kick by Davis. A left catches Lytle as he comes in. Lytle is swinging very hard, but missing. Fans still chanting. Great crowd. A left connects for Lytle. Davis has a small cut under his eye. Nothing major yet. Lytle lands a solid body kick. It looked like it hurt Davis slightly. Lytle 10-9

-"Yer winnin' evry exchange!" - DellaGrotte

Round 2
Lytle comes out swinging. He has Davis backed up into the cage and is landing heavy shots. Davis is in trouble. He's defending now. Davis runs away from trouble then drops Lytle with a body kick and grazing punch. He lets Lytle get up rather than follow him to the ground. Davis charges in with a clinch and good knee to the head/chest. DellaGrotte yelling all kinds of stuff. A right lands for Lytle. Another right for Lytle and Davis counters it with a punch of his own. Left lands for Davis followed by a high knee. Lytle backs him up into the cage and works the body. A jab/elbow combo by Davis. Davis 10-9

-Very close fight.

-"Beat him to the punch and don't wait around for the return." - DellaGrotte

-"Be very careful! This guy is dangerous!" - DellaGrotte

Round 3
Body kick by Davis. If he ends up winning a decision, the body kick will probably be the thing that did it for him. Lytle's side is very red. It's all bruised and raw. Another body kick for Davis. Goldberg predicts a knee to the head by Davis and it actually happens! Impressive! Too bad it missed. Davis is countering everything this round. Lytle's eye is swollen. Lytle backs Davis into the cage and lands some body punches. Davis has a lump under his eye. Lytle is keeping his right hand low thanks to all the body kicks. Lytle turning it up near the end. Davis lands another knee. Davis 10-9.

Marcus Davis Wins by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

-Well, it was entertaining. Not Fight of the Year quality at all. Lytle came closest to finishing it, but overall he lost the fight.

-Davis better get a top Welterweight next. The guy deserves a shot. It's as simple as that.

Denis Kang vs Alan Belcher
-Goldberg very impressed with Belcher's Johnny Cash tattoo. Rogan likes it too.
-"Take away the Jason Day loss and Belcher would be on about a two year winning streak." - Goldberg
---Goldberg making his case for Dumbest Announcer of 2009.
-"The Talent" should have made my list of the Worst Fighter Nicknames.

Round 1
Belcher has his hands low. Kang attacking early. A right then a left lands. Kang gets a textbook takedown. Makes a pass to half-guard. Kang into side control, but Belcher gets back to full guard. He pushes Kang off with his legs and they're back to their feet. Nice job by Belcher to get Kang off him. Kang has Belcher down again. He caught a kick and turned it into a takedown. Full guard by Belcher. Kang shifts to side control. Kang working on a kimura. Can't quite get it set. Kang 10-9

Round 2
Belcher lands a solid body kick. Kang lands a right-left combo. He shoots and has Belcher down again. Kang throwing some punches from the top, but basically just looking for position and submission attempts. Nothing happening. Kang's leg is stuck in between Belcher' legs. Kang stands and shoots back down looking to pass. Referee stands them up. Kang dancing around doing nothing. Kang shoots for another takedown, but Belcher sprawls and hooks in a guillotine. Kang taps almost immediately.

Alan Belcher Wins by 2nd Rd Submission (Guillotine)

-Kang choked. He was seconds away from being up 2 rounds. And down goes another Pride fighter in the Octagon.

-"I'm the top dog around here." - Belcher

-He tried to make the case he was ready for a title shot, but midway through the sentence he realized how ridiculous it was.

Rousimar Palhares vs Jeremy Horn
-Palhares appears to be crying as he walks to the cage. Rogan and Goldberg didn't make a big deal about it. All Rogan said was, "He's an emotional fighter." I guess it's common for Palhares to start crying. He's like the drunk fat girl of the UFC.
-Horn sporting a Tim Sylvialike physique.

Round 1
Palhares grabs Horn and falls on top of him. Palhares is jacked. His legs are ripped. He's on Horn's back and throwing hammerfists to the side of the head. Palhares shifts into side control. He's raining down punches. I'm glad to see he's throwing and not just looking for submissions. Horn is doing a good job of surviving. He's moving quite a bit and now is back to his feet. Palhares throws him back down and in half-guard. Horn tries to get out, but Palhares does a wicked spin move and is now on his back throwing more hammerfists. Round ends with more hammers to Horn's head. Palhares 10-9 maybe even 10-8.

Round 2
A leg kick lands for Horn. Palhares replies with a combination then a big takedown slam. He's in Horn's half-guard. Palhares grabs the cage for a second time and the referee warns him. Next one should be a point. He's on Horn's back again. More punches to the sides of the head. Horn counters and ends up in a full mount! He's going for an arm triangle. Palhares seems tired. Triangle isn't deep enough. Horn loses the mount and they're back on their feet. Solid jab by Palhares. A right hand lands for Horn. Horn goes for a kick, but Palhares ducks it and takes him down. That was close. Horn goes for a triangle. Round over. Horn 10-9

Round 3
Fans are silent. Palhares eats a mushroom, turns into Rick Steiner, then belly-to-back suplexes Horn to the mat. Palhares in full-guard kinda just holding on. I think he's out of gas. Palhares on Horn's back again. He's throwing punches, but they're light. Horn joking around with Rogan and Goldberg while Palhares throws more light punches. Referee stands them up. Horn throws a head kick that comes extremely close to connecting. Palhares 10-9

Rousimar Palhares Wins by Unanimous Decision (30-27 on all three)

-Apparently Palhares injured his hand in the 1st Round. Probably broken.

-I told you this was a dangerous fight. Horn made things interesting. Palhares still has a lot to learn. He should watch Demian Maia's fights, especially how he throws strikes on the ground. That's the big thing missing from his game.

-They're showing the Hathaway/Egan fight from the Preliminary Card.

-It looks like the UFC had a difficult time selling ads for this PPV. FullTiltPoker.net has the center space. There's a "Max Payne on DVD" ad on the edge. Those aren't exactly Apple and McDonald's.

Mark Coleman vs Mauricio Rua
-Okay, time for Phil Baroni to start a brawl.
-Wanderlei Silva isn't in Shogun's corner. He's probably busy planting a garden or having a picnic.
-Fans give Shogun some love as he steps into the cage.
-Coleman enters to "Back in Black". Baroni is strutting behind him.
-If you shaved Sylvester Stallone's head, he'd look exactly like Mark Coleman. They have the same dopey look and old man muscles.

Round 1
They shake hands during the staredown. Shogun didn't even look at him. A leg kick by Rua. Coleman rams ahead and has Rua down. He lands a big punch. Rua rolls out of trouble. Back on their feet. A right hand for Rua. He goes for a clinch, but Coleman takes him down. Triangle attempt by Rua doesn't work. Rua going for legs and puts Coleman onto his back. He passes to side control. A knee to the side by Rua. A very nice kick to the side by Rua. Leg kick by Rua. Coleman lands a left. A left hand lands for Rua. A knee glances Coleman's chin. A right hand drops Coleman. Rua can't finish it. Back to his feet. Rua lands a jab. A knee from the clinch. Coleman wandering around looking for his corner. He looks dead tired. Rua 10-9

-Baroni is very inspirational in the corner. Coleman still looks dead.

Round 2
Two straight leg kicks stagger Coleman. He responds with a jab and gets a big takedown. Where did that come from? Rua gets up without taking any damage. Rua clinches and lands a leg kick and an elbow. A left-right combo staggers Coleman back into the cage. His hands are really low. We might see a big knockout soon. Another clinch and Coleman eats some knees to the head. A series of punches land for Rua. Coleman gets another takedown. Rua seems tired too. Rua working for an omoplata shoulder lock. Coleman just laying there like a sea shell. He might be dead. Rua 10-9

Round 3
Clinch and a knee lands for Rua. Coleman slowly goes a takedown. He's moving like a drunk grizzly bear. He's on top throwing some light body punches. Rua keeps sorta falling down. These aren't violent takedowns. Coleman throwing more punches, nothing landing solid. Rua going for a leg. Coleman defends it and is behind Rua throwing punches. Rua gets back to his feet and throws a knee to the chest. The referee warns Rua, despite the fact it was a legal strike. After the restart Rua lands a series of rights and lefts. He finishes it with a big uppercut that sends Coleman tumbling to the mat. Rua on the attack and referee stops it.

Mauricio Rua Wins by 3rd Rd TKO

-That was a mess, but sort of entertaining. Coleman was tired two minutes into the fight. Rua tired badly in the second half of the fight. The first two thirds of the 3rd Round, he was on the mat gasping for air. Somehow, Coleman was even more tired.

-After the fight Coleman lobbies for a third fight. His face is badly bruised and he can hardly talk in anything but mumbles. It looks like they just dug him up out of the ground then hit him over the head with shovels for fifteen minutes. You gotta give him credit for not folding. Rua had him hurt in the 1st Round and Coleman came back. If it went to a decision, it would not have shocked me if Coleman won on at least one scorecard.

Rich Franklin vs Dan Henderson
-Henderson has the ugliest ears in the business.
-Yet another AC/DC entrance song, as Franklin comes out to "For Those About to Rock".
-Dan Miragliotta is the referee. No way he gets through a main event without messing something up.

Round 1
Kick lands for Franklin. Henderson freaks out and lands a big punch. He follows it up with a head kick, but slips. Henderson wins the scramble and is on top in half-guard. Right hands from the top and some elbows by Henderson. He's got Franklin rattled. This is some serious pressure from the top. A knee to the body by Henderson. A knee to the hip by Henderson. Franklin gets out and back to his feet. A good kick by Henderson. Franklin lands a kick to the ribs. Henderson lands a right. Another kick to the body/arm by Franklin. A right followed by a heavy left rocks Henderson's head back. Henderson responds with a right. Franklin is bleeding, apparently from an accidental headbutt. Two cuts along the hairline. Henderson 10-9

Round 2
Henderson lands a couple kicks. A good knee and right hand by Franklin. Henderson barely misses a big right. Solid jab by Franklin. Right body kick lands for Franklin. Henderson wrestles him into the cage and down to the mat. Not a big takedown. Franklin moving around on the bottom looking for different submissions. Henderson defending everything. Blood is flowing from the cuts on Franklin's upper forehead. Some elbows from the top rain down on Franklin. Henderson begins roughing him up at the end of the round. Franklin 10-9

-Tough round to call. Depends on how the judges view Franklin's early striking against Henderson's work on top. I think Franklin deserved to win it, though.

Round 3
A left lands for Franklin. Henderson glances him with a right. A takedown by Henderson. Franklin is pressed against the cage. Franklin rolls and is on his feet. Henderson still on his knees. Franklin lands a couple strikes before Henderson gets back up. Wrestling against the cage now. Henderson seems a little tired. Franklin is throwing with most missing. Franklin pushes Henderson into the cage. Knee to the body by Franklin. A straight left lands for Franklin. A right body kick lands. Henderson slips and avoids any strikes while down. Franklin gets poked in the eye. He goes down and it looks bad. Henderson was trying to block a punch and Franklin's head moved right into his hand. Dan Miragliotta giving Franklin a tough time about how much time he has to recover. He asked someone at ringside about how much time to give him and apparently you only get two minutes to recover. You get five if you're hit in the balls. Round restarts, but nothing much happens. Franklin 10-9

Dan Henderson Wins by Split Decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)

-I think Franklin won that fight. I don't think he won it 30-27 like the one judge gave it to him. That's nuts. Tough loss for Franklin.

-I got really excited when Miragliotta wouldn't give Franklin time to recover. I knew something had to happen where he'd make a strange decision. I feel like in that situation the referee needs to bend the rules and give the fighter all the time he needs within reason. Miragliotta was badgering Franklin when he was obviously still in pain.

-No interview with Franklin after the fight. He was pissed when they read the last scorecard.